“You’re telling me you’re trying to set me up again?” No way. I can’t believe you’re trying to be a matchmaker again. It’s too soon. Ruben’s barely in the grave. I’m not over him.”
Ruben and Ace both in their late thirties had been partners since 1989. Solidifying their loving relationship, they adopted their scheming lesbian daughter Lexie, in 1998. On Spring Break in April 2011, Ruben died in a car accident, returning from their rental on Fire Island.
“It’s been five months. You need another man in your life. I loved Ruben and I know he loved me. He was my other Dad, and I miss him too.” At fourteen and so distraught, Lexie had thrown a tantrum, running away for a weekend after the accident. She loved both of her parents, knowing they had been very in love and cherished her. “But I’ve moved on. I need another Dad, one who will love both of us.” Please meet this man; he’s is perfect. His name is Mason. He wants to meet you at the Empire State Building at four-thirty tomorrow.”
“No, Lexie. I’m not going to do this. I keep telling you. Stop trying to hook me up with someone else. You better call him and say it’s off.”
“Wait. Don’t make a decision until you watch the movie I rented from Netflix.” She pouted, wanting to have her way.
“That we can do. What movie?”
“You know how you and Ruben became so teary-eyed over movies with sad endings. And you still are a romantic, aren’t you? I know you are. Don’t deny it.”
“Okay, but I don’t want to become depressed. What’s the title?”
“You’ll love this one. It’s An Affair to Remember.”
“I remember that. Deborah Kerr and Cary Grant. I haven’t seen it in years. Put it on. I’ll go get some ice cream.” Ace momentarily forgot about his daughter’s plan.
“You better go to bed.” Ace became Dad again after watching the movie. “I don’t want you late for school tomorrow.
“But what about your date?” Lexie pressed him for an answer. “He’s cute. I should say hot.”
“We’ll talk about it in the morning.” Ace pondered the date. Maybe if I meet this guy, she’ll stop trying to find me a man. I’m out of practice. I haven’t dated in years. What would I say?
“Four-thirty. I’m here, but where’s this Mason. He’s supposed to have a blue bandana around his neck. How gay.” Ace stood alone, whispering and scrutinizing every man on the 102nd floor Observatory of the Empire State Building. “I’m going to kill Lexie.” He gazed out over the distant skyline to the twin towers of the World Trade Center where he worked. Occasionally he stopped to peruse the people, waiting to find a man with a blue bandana tied around his neck.
“I think I’ve been stood up. It’s quarter to five. They’re all kids and families. Maybe it was supposed to be the 86th Floor Observatory.”
A hand rested on the back of his left shoulder, gripping tightly. Startled, Ace turned around. “Ah, you must be Mason.” He was overtaken by the man’s welcoming grin, blue eyes radiating with a hint of green, like cobalt, and sandy blond hair parted to the left side of his head. “Of course, you are with the blue bandana. How did you recognize me?”
“She described you. She was right. A tad nervous, but a very enticing man. That’s you.” Mason extended his hand for a shake.
“What has my daughter told you about me?” Ace placed his hand in Mason’s tight but sensuous grip.
“That you would probably be talking to yourself and feeling unsure. I was standing behind you for a minute or two, listening.”
“She knows me well.” Ace laughed.
They stood frozen, their hand remained clasped together.
Ace gazed at Mason, a wiry built man about his age with an alluring persona, oozing with a sexual appetite for something more than a one night affair.
“Would you like to take a walk?” Mason broke the mesmerizing silence. “I’m afraid of heights.”
They took the elevator down to street level and walked.
After a couple of blocks, rain started to fall. While others scurried, shielded by umbrellas, Mason and Ace strolled, ignoring their saturated clothes and the raindrops dripping down their glistening faces.
“I parked my car here.” Mason led Ace into a parking structure. “I hope you don’t mind, but I want to show you something.”
“This is my car.” Mason opened the passenger door to a red Jaguar convertible.
“Quite nice.” Ace slipped into the seat. “Are we going somewhere?”
“That depends on you. I heard that you’d like a happy ending for an affair to remember. If you’re game, I might just show you that.”
“You are direct.” Ace chuckled. “I suppose Lexie has told you quite a lot?”
“Enough to warrant quite a bit of interest and risk.” Mason started the engine. His right hand pulled Ace’s head closer to his. They kissed momentarily. “Very nice. Your lips feel like you want to invite me to another space in time, someplace we both need.”
“Hey, look. This is all very exciting, but I do have a daughter who needs some discipline.”
“She’ll be fine. I forgot to tell you. She’s staying at her girlfriend’s. Amy. Will that be okay?”
“You two appear to have my night planned.”
“Are you interested?”
“How can I refuse? Both of you are waiting for me to wake up and live again.” He was talking, nervously, stumbling over his words.
Mason peered at Ace’s crotch. “I can see you’re interested in something other than just talking, judging by your erection. Looks like we’re both ready. I think you will remember September 10th, 2001.”
Ace glanced, smiling, at the outline of Mason’s hardon beneath the Khaki fabric of his pants. “Your place or mine?”